Sunday, September 25, 2005

Brownie goes to Egypt

That's "Brownie" in a metaphorical sense, of course. It's actually Karen Hughes who made her first P.R. foray into the Middle East today. And in the vein of similar FEMA and Homeland Security appointments, which Frank Rich so neatly excoriates today, Hughes' qualifications as Bush's "public diplomacy" envoy to the Middle East are also suspect:
Ms. Hughes said on the plane that this was her first trip to the region and that she was was eager to learn as much as she could in her new capacity, in which she oversees the entire State Department public affairs apparatus as well as its cultural and exchange programs.
Like many Bush appointees, Hughes earned her stripes in Bush's P.R. team:
Ms. Hughes, who served for years as Mr. Bush's campaign and White House communications specialist, has said she will try to use her skills to present an upbeat and positive vision of American policies and to answer criticisms.
The audacity of appointing Hughes to such a position is astounding and perhaps will get greater scrutiny in the post- era. Hughes' claim to fame is elevating herself from Texas television reporter to White House communications guru by jumping on board the Bush express in the early days. No Middle East experience or qualifications, such as speaking Arabic, but she is a loyal confidante of Bush. One more whistle blast of the Bush crony express.